Donna Masini Finds Solace in Film

Nick Ripatrazone at Poetry Magazine:

4:30 Movie, then, is a book about the general ambience of film, although Masini does invoke specific titles—most notably, the original drive-in version of The Blob (1958)which screened in the 4:30 slot during Masini’s childhood and inspired the title of her book. In the film’s final scene, the hero—“his name was Steve in the movie and Steve in real life,” Masini writes, referring to lead actor Steve McQueen—and the police douse the blob with fire extinguishers to freeze it. A police officer observes that the gelatinous creature can’t be killed but can be stopped. The Air Force drops the blob into the Arctic, and then The End? appears on screen, a playful hint that perhaps the terror isn’t over. Masini is bemused by how hokey and silly the film is, the blob “mindless, deadly, malignant. Amorphous, devouring monster. / Why didn’t we laugh?” But by the end of the poem, she asks herself, “Why am I so frightened?” The whiplash of the question mimics the way viewers abruptly surrender to the magic of film.

more here.